Unleashing Potential - Latino-Owned Businesses

The Latino community in Rock Springs, Wyoming, has been steadily growing over the past few decades, and with their arrival, has come a surge of entrepreneurship in the Downtown area. These Latino entrepreneurs have been instrumental in revitalizing the city’s Downtown, bringing new businesses, energy, and culture to the area.

One of the most significant Latino-owned businesses in Downtown Rock Springs is a barber shop called El Catracho Barber Shop, owned and managed by Edar Zelaya, which doubles as a hangout spot. The shop features pool tables and a relaxed atmosphere, making it a popular spot for young people to hang out and get their haircuts. The owner of the barbershop has become a fixture in the community, and many locals consider him a friend.

Another notable Latino-owned business in Downtown Rock Springs is a snack shop called Antojitos Mi Pueblito. The owner, Letty Franco, has built a successful business that sells street corn, ceviche, fresas con crema (strawberries and cream), and more! Her store is a hub for the Hispanic and Latino community, and many people come to enjoy her different selections of snacks and catch up with friends.

There are also several other Latino-owned businesses in the Downtown area, including several restaurants, a party store, and a grocery store. These businesses have created a vibrant and diverse community in the heart of Rock Springs, and they have been instrumental in the city’s economic growth.

Beyond their contributions to the local economy, the Latino community in Rock Springs has also brought a rich cultural heritage to the area. They celebrate traditional holidays, such as Dia de los Muertos and Quinceañeras.

A quinceañera is a traditional celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday in many Latin American cultures. The celebration usually includes a religious ceremony, followed by a reception or party with family and friends. The girl, known as the quinceañera, wears a formal gown and a tiara and often has a court of honor consisting of her closest friends and family members, including a chambelán (escort) and damas (maids of honor). The celebration is meant to mark the girl’s transition from childhood to young adulthood and is often seen as a coming-of-age ceremony. It is an important event in many Latin American communities.

The community also organizes cultural events that are open to the public such as the Viva La Igualdad (Long Live Equality) hosted by the Equality State Policy Center. The event’s goal is to bring organizations together that normally are unable to reach these communities due to language barriers or simply not knowing where to start.  These events not only bring the community together but also educate others about the Hispanic and Latino culture and traditions. 

In conclusion, the growing Latino community in Rock Springs has brought new life to the Downtown area through their entrepreneurship and cultural contributions. They have created a vibrant and diverse community that has enriched the city in countless ways. As the community continues to grow and thrive, it is clear that the future of Downtown Rock Springs is bright.

Latino-owned businesses in Downtown Rock Springs include: